Frequently asked Questions

Situation of Calamity

News 17-21 May

Re-opening of Establishments FAQ DGS here

Information for Food Handlers HERE

DGS Guideline Restaurants 23-2020 English  HERE

Summary Beaches PDF English HERE



From 30th May

Frequently asked questions arising from the extension of the situation of calamity law from 00.01 hrs 1st June 2020 (except for religious activities 30th May)

From shopping malls to churches, find out what will reopen in the third phase


What about citizen stores opening. Can I just turn up there?

Citizen stores will start receiving users from day 1, but with the same rules that were already applied to other public services that have since resumed activity. The face-to-face service can only be done through prior appointment and the use of a mask is mandatory. The continuity of service provision through digital media and contact centers is maintained. The stores in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML) will remain closed until further evaluation on June 4.  Cinemas

Will all cinemas be open on 1st June and are their any constraints?

Concert halls, cinemas and the like may reopen and cultural events in the open air are permitted, with rules of physical distance and hygiene, as well as the use of masks or visors to access the interior of the venues. However, this week, the Portuguese Association for the Defense of Audiovisual Works asked the Government to postpone the reopening of cinemas until July 2 for lack of premieres that attract viewers. Nos’ movie theaters have announced that they will not reopen on Monday because they need more time to ensure health and safety procedures


I heard such classes will be divided is this true?

The reopening of kindergartens and pre-school will lead to the return of 235,000 children, aged three to six, to institutions. Part of the rules are common to day care centers, which reopened on May 18, such as the obligation to take shoes from home and parents to deliver their children to the door. But the division of children into smaller classes, for example, will not apply.

What is the situation about leisure activities?

Leisure activities (ATL) that are not integrated into school establishments will only be able to start again from June 15, contrary to what was initially planned. One of the reasons is that only pre-school children can take advantage of ATL, since those in the following cycles will still be at home taking distance classes. And those in kindergartens already have this component ensured. However, on May 27, the director-general of Health, Graça Freitas, announced that guidelines for the ATLs would be revealed that day, which did not happen until the end of yesterday.


Does the 50% capacity in restaurants apply still?

The number of customers at the same time in restaurants and similar establishments will be able to exceed 50% of the occupancy. But the tables will have to be 1.5 meters apart from each other and separation barriers will have to be installed between customers who are face to face. The areas of consumption of food and drinks (“food-courts”) in shopping centers are no longer closed, with the exception of AML. The bars and clubs are closed for at least two more weeks.

Are bars reopening?

No. There is no indication when bars and nigh clubs will reopen at present.


Will larger shops be able to open, and what about shopping malls?

Stores with more than 400 square meters and those that are inserted in shopping centers will be able to reopen on Monday, with the exception of those that are in the Lisbon Metropolitan area (except those that are authorized by the local authorities and have a door to the street). In all places open to the public – The allocation of spaces accessible to the public must observe the maximum indicative occupancy rule of 0.05 people per square meter of area.

I manage a shop, do I need to give priority to anyone?

Retail or service establishments should give priority to healthcare professionals, members of the security, protection and rescue forces and services, armed forces personnel and the provision of social support services.


What about tattoo artists will they be be able to return to the activity?

Tattooing is one of the activities that reopens, alongside gyms, gyms and the like, according to the guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS). This sector demanded a return to the activity earlier, arguing that tattoo artists have used masks, gloves and disposable materials for several years.


Can more than 10 people concentrate together?

The civic duty to stay at home is no longer established. However, with regard to events and celebrations such as family parties, the limit goes from 10 to 20 people, unless they belong to the same household. At the Lisbon Metropolitan area the limit remains at 10 people.


I have heard that there is an increased risk in face-to-face celebrations – is that trye?

DGS admitted, in the document that defines the prevention and control measures in places of worship, that the face-to-face celebrations of the various religious confessions that are restarting today carry an “increased risk” of the spread of covid-19. It is recommended for older people and people with risk factors to assist through digital media or to attend the hours with less crowds of believers.

I wish to get married, is this possible and can I invite people?

As long as the guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health are respected, events of a family nature, including weddings and baptisms, community celebrations of various religious denominations, events of a corporate nature held in spaces suitable for this purpose, as well as cultural events.

Can soccer start again and can I attend a match?

League competition kicks off Wednesday. The return of football, albeit behind closed doors, marks the 4th of June, with the matches of FC Porto against Famalicão and Portimonense against Gil Vicente.

What about the border with Spain, I want to travel there?

The law does not cover this subject. The border with Spain is still subject to controls, until June 15th and is reviewed every 10 days.


Earlier FAQs are being updated



Q and A Easing of Restrictions (State of Calamity) Click here

Official guide for re-opening of Schools. Download and print pdf here


Be aware! We have not yet updated the FAQ below. From 4th of May, after the extra restrictions regarding 1-3 May ending, this information may not be correct for State of Calamity. We will do the update as soon as possible.




If your car is due for a mandatory inspection, you now have 5 months from the month of your licence plate to do it. This extension only applies to vehicles that are due to renew their certification between 13 March and 30 June 2020.
If you are importing your car, you can still schedule an inspection during this period.
These are part of the wider government’s emergency measures for COVID-19.
Read the notice from IMT (in Portuguese)



Basic questions about COVID-19 Updated 7th April


What are Coronaviruses? 

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause infections in people. Usually these infections affect the respiratory system and can be similar to the flu or progress to a more serious disease, such as pneumonia.

What is this new Coronavirus?

The new coronavirus, designated SARS-CoV-2, was first identified in December 2019 in China, in the city of Wuhan. This new agent has never been identified in humans before. The source of the infection is still unknown.

The route of transmission is still under investigation. Person-to-person transmission has been confirmed and infection already exists in several countries and in people who had not visited the Wuhan market. The investigation continues.

Is COVID-19 the same as SARS-CoV2?

No. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the new virus and it means Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus-2. There is another coronavirus that causes SARS, which was identified in 2002 and is known as “SARS-CoV”. This is why the new coronavirus has been named “SARS-CoV-2”. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) is the name of this disease and it means Coronavirus Disease in 2019, in reference to the year in which it was discovered.

What is the origin of the New Coronavirus?

According to information published by the international authorities, the source of the infection is unknown and may still be active. The majority of cases are linked to a market in Wuhan (Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market), which specialises in live food and animals (fish, seafood and fowl). The market was closed on the 1st January 2020. As the first cases of infection are related to people who frequented this market, the suspicion is that the virus is of animal origin although there is no certainty, because infection has been confirmed in people who never visited the market. Investigation is ongoing.

Has there ever been a Coronavirus epidemic before?

Yes. In previous years, some coronaviruses have been identified that have caused outbreaks and severe respiratory infections in humans. Examples of this were:

  • between 2002 and 2003 the severe acute respiratory syndrome (infection caused by the SARS-CoV coronavirus);
  • in 2012 the Middle East respiratory syndrome (infection caused by the MERS-CoV coronavirus).


What is the risk for Portugal?

The risk assessment is constantly updated, according to the evolution of the outbreak. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) issue daily communications with a summary of the latest information and recommendations.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Most infected people have mild to moderate symptoms of acute respiratory infection:
• Fever (T> 37.5ºC)
• Cough
• Breathing difficulty (Shortness of breath)

In more severe cases it can cause severe pneumonia with acute respiratory failure, kidney and other organ failure, and eventual death. However, most cases recover without effects.

I need a doctor. What now?

The SNS24 hotline (800 242424) is the best point of contact for suspected cases of COVID-19 because it directs patients to the most appropriate place. This is the most important and organised contact.

Health centres are prepared to help their patients and using the phone is the most correct way to contact the family doctor in these difficult days.

Should the public contact the Health Centres directly or only via the SNS24 hotline?

People with no suspicion of COVID-19 should contact their health centre preferably by phone or email. They should only move when absolutely necessary or as indicated by the doctor or nurse after telephone contact.

Those with suspected COVID-19 should contact the SNS24 line (800 24 24 24). Option 9 (first option) English

If people make direct contact, where can they obtain the contacts? Is there a directory?

Normal users know the telephone number of their local health unit, but the number of each unit is easily obtainable on the internet or by calling 118.

What about foreigners and people who have no family doctor assigned? Who should they contact and how?

People who are registered at a health unit or health centre and do not have an assigned family doctor should also make contact by phone, even though they do not have a fixed health team assigned.

Foreign or national citizens who are not registered with a health centre should contact the SNS24 even COVID-19 is not suspected. The SNS24 line is dedicated to all health clarifications and referrals.

After the first symptoms appear, how long can the illness last?

It can last up to five weeks. A person is considered cured when two consecutive diagnostic tests prove negative. The tests are performed at intervals of two to four days, until negative results are obtained. The duration of illness depends on each patient, their immune system and whether there are any associated underlying conditions, which may alter the risk level.



How is it transmitted?

COVID-19 is transmitted by close contact with people infected by the virus, or contaminated surfaces and objects.

This disease is transmitted through droplets released by the nose or mouth when we cough or sneeze, which can directly reach the mouth, nose and eyes of those close to us.

Droplets can be deposited on objects or surfaces that surround the infected person. In turn, other people can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth with their hands.

What is community transmission?

When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, health authorities conduct an epidemiological survey to, among other information, understand the source of the infection. When this source cannot be identified, that is, who transmitted the virus, it is said that we are dealing with a community transmission area.

What is the incubation period?

It is estimated that the disease incubation period (time from exposure to the virus to the appearance of symptoms) is between 2 and 14 days. Transmission by asymptomatic people (without symptoms) is still being investigated.

What is “close contact”?

The following cases can be considered as close contacts:

  • Person with exposure associated with health care, namely the provision of direct care to patients with COVID-19 or contact in a laboratory environment with samples of COVID-19;
  • Contact in proximity or in a closed environment with a patient with COVID-19 (ex: classroom);
  • People traveling with a patient with COVID-19, such as:
  1. traveling companions on an airplane: people who are two seats to the patient’s left or right, 2 seats in the two consecutive rows in front of the patient and two seats in the two consecutive rows behind the patient and crew members who served the patient’s section;
  2. travel companions on a ship: people who shared the same cabin and crew members who served the patient’s cabin.
  3. Or other means of transport (buses, trains …)

The Health Authority may consider other individuals not defined in the previous points as close contact (the assessment is made on a case-by-case basis).

Can domestic animals transmit 2019- NCOV?

No. According to information from the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence that domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, have been infected and that, consequently, they can transmit 2019-nCoV.

Can Covid-19 be transmitted through food including chilled and frozen food?

Coronaviruses are usually transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) “the experiences of previous outbreaks with coronavirus, namely with the SARS-CoV coronavirus and the MERS-CoV coronavirus, show that its transmission did not occur through food consumption”.

Currently, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 by food.

However, applying the precautionary principle, maintaining and reinforcing good hygiene and food safety practices during food handling, preparation and co-infection is recommended.

Taking the precautionary principle, the WHO published on its website some recommendations regarding good hygiene and food safety practices and, at national level, the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE), published the statement – Can the new type of coronavirus be transmissible through Food?

Of these guidelines regarding the preparation, confection and consumption of food, the following good hygiene practices are highlighted:

  • Frequent and prolonged hand washing (with soap and water for 20 seconds), followed by proper drying to avoid cross contamination (for example, close the tap with a paper towel instead of the hand that opened it while it was dirty)
  • Proper disinfection of worktops and tables with appropriate products
  • Avoid contamination between raw and cooked food
  • Cook and “plate” food at appropriate temperatures and wash raw food properly
  • Avoid sharing food or objects between people during preparation, cooking and consumption


ASAE will continue to monitor this situation on an ongoing basis and whenever justified, it will issue new communications or technical documents.

Will hot weather stop the Covid-19 outbreak?

It is not yet known whether climate or temperature affects the spread of COVID-19. Other viruses, for example those that cause influenza, spread more during the colder months. However, this does not mean that you do not become ill from these viruses during the other months.

At the moment, there is no evidence that the spread of COVID-19 will slow when the weather gets warmer. There is still much to learn about the mode of transmission, gravity and other information related to COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

Can an asymptomatic person transmit COVID-19?

The risk of getting COVID-19 from someone without symptoms is very low. However, many infected people have only mild symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, it is possible to contract the virus from someone who has only a mild cough, for example, and does not feel sick.

Can children transmit COVID-19 infection and disease?

Yes, children infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who are in the incubation phase also transmit the disease. Due to close proximity between children, maintaining very close contact during play and sharing toys with droplets and secretions can be a great transmitter of COVID-19. As young children are vulnerable and do not yet have the capacity to defend themselves and to make decisions about their own protection, adults must ensure the necessary care to reduce the likelihood of transmission.

How long can the virus survive on surfaces?

It is unclear how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it appears to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information about the COVID-19 virus) can persist on surfaces from a few hours to several days. This can vary depending on the conditions, such as the type of surface, the temperature or humidity of the environment.

In our own home or in public spaces, the frequency of cleaning must be increased, precisely so that there is no accumulation of viruses on the surfaces. Common household detergent and disinfectant should be used – it is sufficient to use bleach or alcohol.

Can we share drinking glasses? No – you should not share any personal effects with other people, including drink glasses. The virus is transmitted through our mucous membranes (mouth, eyes and nose).

Can transmission occur through the air or via metal surfaces?

Contagion is not by air, but through respiratory secretions or droplets that are expelled by an infected person and/or during the performance of invasive medical procedures that produce aerosols. The droplets that the person expels can enter directly through the mouth, eyes or nose and cause infection.

Complying with the social distance recommended by the Directorate-General for Health or staying at home are good measures to prevent infection at this stage.

Metal or other surfaces do not directly transmit the virus. They only transmit the virus if people touch a contaminated surface or one with respiratory secretions or droplets containing viral particles with their hands and, later, they bring their hands to their mouth, nose or eyes. If surfaces are washed regularly, this contamination is avoided.


Testing and Treatment

Should I be tested for COVID-19? (updated as per ruling 004/2020)

If you develop an acute respiratory cough (persistent or worsening of usual cough), or fever (temperature ≥ 38.0ºC), or shortness of breath / difficulty breathing, you should call the SNS24 Line (808 24 24 24) Option 9 (the first option) in English or the dedicated telephone lines at the Family Health Units or Personal Health Care Units.

After this contact and validation of the medical history, health professionals will determine whether it is necessary to be tested for COVID-19.

Is there a vaccine?

There is no vaccine. As a recently identified virus, investigations are underway for its development.

What is the treatment?

Treatment for infection with this new coronavirus is directed at the signs and symptoms presented.

Are antibiotics an effective way of treating the virus?

No, antibiotics are directed at bacteria, having no effect against viruses. SARS-CoV-2 is a virus and, as such, antibiotics should not be used for its prevention or treatment. It will not work and may contribute to increased resistance to antimicrobials (antibiotics).

What percentage of COVID-19 cases are light and serious?

80% of COVID-19 cases have mild symptoms (fever, rhinorrhoea (runny nose), headache, myalgia (body pain), mild cold symptoms.

Only 15% of the cases have a severe condition, with pneumonia, difficulty breathing, requiring hospitalization and eventually intensive care requiring ventilation; and 5% represent critical cases.

Most deaths were seen in the elderly (most over 80 years old) and with other comorbidities (other chronic diseases)

How are patients dealt with or referred?

  • Patients are referred, according to their clinical severity, for self-care, in isolation from home and under surveillance, or for medical evaluation, in Dedicated Areas for COVID-19 (ADC) in primary health care or emergency rooms, or to the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM).
  • Is hospitalisation necessary in all cases? No. Not all confirmed cases of COVID-19 require hospitalization, as long as they present a mild and stable clinical case, are able to stay at home and the monitoring of the health team at home is guaranteed.


Can all hospitals be used as inpatient units for COVID-19 patients?

All hospitals will be able to serve as inpatient units as long as they meet the appropriate conditions for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

How is the data from the cases analysed reported to the DGS, whether positive or unconfirmed?

Reporting is done by the doctors who are obliged to report on the SINAVE (National Epidemiology Surveillance System) platform.

How many tests are performed per day?

This number varies depending on daily requirements, which are increasing as the epidemic evolves.

Do patients who recover have immunity? Can they be re-infected?

There is evidence that the human body gains immunity following contact with the virus and developing the disease; this effect may increase when a vaccine is available.


Prevention Measures

What are hygiene measures and respiratory etiquette?

In affected areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends hygiene measures and respiratory etiquette to reduce exposure and transmission of the disease:

  • Respiratory etiquette measures: cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, with a tissue or forearm, never with your hands, and always throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Wash your hands frequently. You should wash them whenever you blow, sneeze, cough or after direct contact with sick people. You should wash them for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”) with soap and water or with a 70% alcohol-based solution;
  • Avoid close contact with people with respiratory infection;
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands;
  • Avoid sharing personal objects or food that you have touched.

Who is at risk from Covid-19?

The virus does not respect nationality, age or gender, so we are all at risk of contracting this new coronavirus.

Still, the people most at risk for serious COVID-19 disease are the elderly and people with chronic illnesses (e.g. heart disease, diabetes and lung disease).

What should people at risk of serious COVID-19 do?

If you are at risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you should:


  • Take daily precautions (e.g. respiratory etiquette measures), avoiding close contact with other people;
  • Stay away from sick people;
  • Limit social contact and avoid crowds;
  • Wash your hands frequently.


If there is a cluster in your community, avoid close contact with people and, if possible, stay at home. Pay attention to the signs and symptoms. If you get sick, stay home and call SNS24.

Should I wear a mask for protection?

According to the current situation in Portugal, the use of a mask for individual protection is not indicated, except in the following situations:

  • Suspected COVID-19 infection;
  • People who care for others with suspected COVID-19 infections.


The Directorate-General for Health does not, so far, recommend the use of a protective mask for people who do not show symptoms (asymptomatic). The use of a mask incorrectly can increase the risk of infection, due to being misplaced or due to the contact of the hands with the face.

The use of a mask also contributes to a false sense of security.

What precautions should be taken when using a mask?

First of all, remember: you should only wear a mask if you are instructed to do so. If instructed by your healthcare professional, avoid cloth masks, which can accumulate residues or even infectious particles, increasing the risk of spreading the virus.

Before putting on the mask, wash your hands thoroughly. Make sure the mask is perfectly fitted to your face and avoid touching it while you are wearing it. Change your mask when it is dirty or damp and wash your hands thoroughly before removing it.

And remember: the use of the mask is only appropriate if it is applied in conjunction with hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, surface cleaning and social distancing.

Should I use gloves for protection?

Wearing gloves on the street is not effective. If used improperly, gloves can be a vehicle for transmitting the virus, rather than a means of protection. When not indicated, the use of gloves represents a waste of resources.

The most important thing to prevent the transmission of the virus is to wash your hands frequently and whenever they are dirty.

When should I use gloves?

Gloves should be used for cleaning bathrooms or other surfaces with bleach or other disinfectants, when you are a caregiver for a patient with COVID-19 or, if you are a healthcare professional, when performing procedures that involve direct skin contact with broken skin, mucous or body fluids.

What care should be taken when preparing and cooking food?

Wash your hands thoroughly before and while cooking meals. Take care to properly wash raw food and cook and plate the food at suitable temperatures.

Do not share food or objects between people during their preparation, cooking and consumption. At all times, adopt respiratory etiquette measures. Avoid contamination between raw and cooked food.

What are the recommendations for those who have to use public transport?

If you are going to travel by public transport, the following is recommended:

  • Ensure a minimum distance from other people;
  • Position yourself back to back against other people
  • Use a mask ONLY if you have health problems.
  • Avoid bringing your hands to your mouth, eyes or nose;
  • Turn your face to the side, if someone is coughing in front of you and ask the person who is coughing to do it into a handkerchief or into the arm or the elbow;
  • Disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based solution or wash your hands as soon as possible.
  • If the transport is full you can, whenever possible, wait for the next one.



Can I travel?

There are areas of the globe with active community transmission where the risk of contagion is high. It is prudent for sick travellers to delay or avoid travelling to the affected areas, in particular the elderly and people with chronic illnesses or underlying health conditions.

The Directorate-General for Health is monitoring the development of the global situation in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To reinforce information and assistance to Portuguese travellers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has created the helpline +351 217 929 755 and the email, for situations of difficulty with repatriation or need for local consular services, in countries conditioned by measures to restrict circulation and activity related to COVID-19.

While monitoring the current emergency situation and after the application of quarantine measures to the entire territory, the Portuguese government decided to suspend flights outside and outside the European Union as of the 19th March, with exceptions.

You should therefore follow information updates provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs using the travel advice area the general recommendations and notices

You can also clarify some general doubts about travel and visas at

If you have to travel or are outside of Portugal, sign up for the free mobile application “Registo Viajante“, available for Android and IOS devices, allowing you to be immediately located and contacted in an emergency, such as natural disasters, accidents or attacks. You can also register on the Travel Registration Form (Formulário Registo Viajante).

When returning to national territory, information on resetting border controls and restrictions on entry into Portugal must be observed .

For mainland Portugal, the mandatory prophylactic isolation on arrival is not currently in force, and for the moment it is only a recommendation as part of the efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this obligation is in place in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira.

People returning from an affected area are advised, for the next 14 days, to be alert to the appearance of fever, cough and possible breathing difficulties.

They should also measure their body temperature twice a day and record the values ​​and check if any of the people with whom they live closely develop the abovementioned symptoms. If you experience any of the symptoms in yourself or in your family, you should not go to the health services, but call the SNS24 – 808 24 24 24, and follow the directions given by them; you should also report your travel history.

You should also consult DGS Travel Guidelines and Information


Risk Groups

What are the risk groups for COVID-19?

Risk groups for COVID 19 include:

  • Old people;
  • People with chronic diseases – heart, lung, diabetes, neoplasms or high blood pressure, among others;
  • People with compromised immune systems (undergoing chemotherapy treatments, treatments for autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis or some inflammatory bowel diseases), HIV / AIDS infection or transplant patients.


Is being asthmatic a risk condition for COVID-19 infection?

People with asthma are considered to be at risk. Therefore, the social isolation measures recommended by the Directorate-General for Health are advised:

  • Stay at home. You should only leave the house if it is strictly necessary. Avoid close contact with people;
  • Protect yourself, as you are at a higher risk of infection. You should always keep the therapy you regularly follow;
  • Comply with hygiene rules and respiratory etiquette;
  • In case of worsening, start the SOS medication you use in crises and contact SNS24.
  • Pay attention to signs and symptoms. If you get sick, stay home and call SNS24.


Are children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes considered at risk?

Yes. Anyone with diabetes, regardless of their age, is always at a higher risk if they become ill with COVID-19, although the risk is always higher in older people.

A child or young person with type 1 diabetes, due to his illness, is at higher risk than a healthy child or young person.

Can children be left with their grandparents?

At this time, it is not recommended that children be with their grandparents as they are considered a vulnerable group. Although children are less affected by this disease and have milder symptoms, they can transmit the virus to others.

It is preferable that children and grandparents talk through social networks, chats and cell phones during this phase of transmission of the disease.



What precautions should I take if I am in isolation?

You must stay at home. You should not go to work, school or public spaces. Stay in your own room and avoid contact with others in common spaces. Do not share dishes, glasses, kitchen utensils, sheets or other personal effects.

When you are with other people, wear a mask. Follow hand washing and respiratory etiquette recommendations. Monitor the symptoms and put your waste in a special bag.

What rules should be followed by other household members?

Contact with the person with symptoms should be avoided, especially if they belong to vulnerable groups: elderly, chronically ill, immunosuppressed and pregnant women. Preferably, it should be a single person to take care of those who are sick.

After contact with the patient or his space, wash your hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based solution. Frequently disinfect taps, switches and door handles, especially if the sick person uses common spaces.

If I am in isolation can I receive visitors at home?

No. Only the people who live with the person infected with COVID-19 should be in the home. Should urgent contact be required with/by someone who does not cohabit with the person in isolation, this should always be by telephone.


Smoking and COVID-19

Are smokers at greater risk of being infected by and developing serious illness through COVID-19?

There are no studies to confirm this. However, if the person who smokes already has respiratory or cardiac problems, this can contribute to worsening of the clinical situation, if they become infected with COVID-19. A long-time smoker already has pulmonary alterations that may be associated with pneumonia in case of COVID-19 infection.

Are passive smokers more susceptible to infection?

The clinical risks must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis because each person’s reaction to the infection will be different. However, we know that someone who is exposed to passive smoking for eight hours per day carries similar risks to someone who smokes 10 cigarettes per day.

Does someone who gives up smoking improve their capacity of response to infection by COVID-19?

The recovery of lung capacity is not immediate. But anyone who decides to quit smoking should do so because it will always make a difference (cancer, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, COPD and other comorbidities) and will always have benefits for your health – in the short and long term.

Is there a risk of COVID-19 transmission by sharing a cigarette with someone else?

Yes, no objects of personal use, including cigarettes, should be shared with other people. The virus is transmitted via our mucous membranes (mouth, eyes and nose).



Why do they blame or stigmatise people or groups due to Covid-19?

People may be concerned about friends and family who live in or visit areas affected by COVID-19. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asians, or quarantined people.

Stigma refers to discrimination against a group of people, a place or a nation. This is associated with the lack of knowledge about the transmission mode of COVID-19, the need to attribute blame, the fear of illness and possible death and the rumours and myths disseminated.

Stigma causes suffering, increasing fear or anger towards ordinary people, rather than focusing on the disease that is causing the problem.

How can people fight stigma? 

People can fight stigma and help other people by providing them with social support. Combating stigma can be done through learning and sharing facts about COVID-19.

The fact that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups should be divulged, as well as the mode of transmission of COVID-19.



Are pregnant women more susceptible to infection or are they at greater risk of serious illness, morbidity or death with COVID-19, compared to the general public?

In published scientific studies, there is no information on the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunological and physiological changes that can make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. During pregnancy, women may also be at risk for serious illness, morbidity or mortality compared to the general population, as seen in cases of other coronavirus-related infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and coronavirus of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)] and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza (influenza).

 Pregnant women should engage in the usual preventive actions to prevent infections, such as washing their hands frequently and avoiding sick people or suspected cases that are under surveillance. They must respect the recommended distance between people (1 meter).

Are pregnant women with COVID-19 at higher risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy?

We have no information on adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19. Gestational loss, including spontaneous abortion and stillbirth, has been observed in cases of infection with other coronaviruses [SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV] during pregnancy. It is known that high fever during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects.

Are pregnant health professionals at higher risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy if they care for patients with COVID-19?

Pregnant healthcare professionals should follow the risk assessment and infection control guidelines for healthcare professionals exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all healthcare professionals in healthcare settings. Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited; services may want to consider limiting the exposure of the pregnant healthcare professional to patients with COVID-19 (confirmed or suspected), especially when performing higher risk procedures (for example, procedures that generate aerosol particle production), if possible, based on staff availability.

Can pregnant women with COVID-19 transmit the virus to the foetus or newborn (i.e. vertical transmission)?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly by close contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets. It is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to her foetus or newborn via other vertical transmission routes (before, during or after delivery). However, in recent studies of babies born to mothers with COVID-19 published in medical literature, two cases have been reported with positive results for COVID-19 infection, one newborn in the first 30h and the second in 48 hours, but the route of contagion is not confirmed. In retrospective studies of a small series of cases, the virus was not detected in samples of amniotic fluid, cord blood or breast milk.

There is limited information available on vertical transmission for other coronaviruses (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV), but vertical transmission has not been reported for these infections.

Are children born to mothers infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy at greater risk of complications?

Based on a limited number of reported cases, complications have been observed in children (for example, premature birth) in babies born to mothers infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these complications are related to maternal infection and, at this time, the risk of complications in children is not known. Given that the data available for COVID-19 during pregnancy is limited, knowledge of complications related to other viral respiratory infections may provide some information. For example, other respiratory viral infections that occur during pregnancy, such as influenza, have been linked to neonatal complications, including low birth weight and prematurity. In addition, having a cold or flu with a high fever in early pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects.

Women with other coronavirus, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infections, during pregnancy, have had premature and / or small babies for gestational age.

What is the risk that the existence of COVID-19 in a pregnant woman or a newborn may have long-term effects on child health and development that may require clinical support beyond childhood?

At the moment, there is no information about the long-term health effects for babies with COVID-19 or for those who have been exposed in utero to COVID-19. In general, prematurity and low birth weight are associated with long-term health complications.

Is COVID-19 infection of the mother during breastfeeding associated with a potential risk for a breastfed child?

Person-to-person transmission through close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 occurs mainly through respiratory droplets produced when a person with an infection coughs or sneezes.

In limited series of cases reported to date, no evidence of viruses has been found in the breast milk of women with COVID-19. There is no information available on the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through breast milk (that is, whether the infectious virus is present in the breast milk of an infected woman).

In limited reports of lactating women infected with SARS-CoV, the virus was not detected in milk; however, at least one antibody sample against SARS-CoV was detected.